Afghanistan and COVID are the two big stories of the weekend


Daniel Marance/HuffPost:

Biden, allies frustrated by hard-line media coverage of withdrawal in Afghanistan

After years of neglecting Afghanistan, many of those close to the Biden White House – and the president himself – feel that some major outlets are adopting a pro-war stance.

as chief Joe Biden He finished his press conference Friday afternoon on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, one reporter fired a particularly fierce question.

“Why do you still trust me TalibanPresident?” said the reporter.

Despite the armed group’s poor human rights record and extremist Islamist ideology, multiple US administrations have successfully negotiated with the Taliban. The Taliban has complex interests. As Biden noted on Friday, so is the organization In the war With the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) faction, which is vying for power in Afghanistan.

But the reporter’s criticism – masquerading as an inquiry – was the culmination of a week of dramatic finger-pointing and anxiety by the Washington press, which usually prides itself on impartiality.

Although the White House’s failure to anticipate the rapid fall of the Afghan government and prepare accordingly has exacerbated the chaos of the US withdrawal, Biden and his allies are angry at what they see as hard-line coverage by journalists and critics of the exit.



How CDC data problems put the US behind the delta variable

Critics say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s failure to share real-time data has led to overly rosy assessments of the vaccine’s effectiveness — and complacency on the part of many Americans.

The CDC fumbling about the delta variant, after a year in which its gaffes were often attributed to the Trump administration’s meddling, tells a more complex story — that two storey agency He faces other challenges that have hampered the rapid response to the pandemic. Critics regret that the latest data on the delta variable came from other countries, such as Israel, Great Britain and Singapore. They say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s inability to share information in real time has led top administration officials, including the president himself, to make overly rosy assessments of the effectiveness of Delta vaccines that may have calmed Americans into A false sense of security, even It is the most elusive and formidable alternative He was taking root.

financial times (paywall):

Are vaccines becoming less effective in preventing Covid infection?

Researchers are baffled by suggestions that punches do not stop transmissions as initially thought

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An Oxford University study published Thursday found that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine against symptomatic infection was nearly halved after four months, and that people vaccinated with the most contagious Delta virus had as high viral loads as the unvaccinated. Qatar also sparked controversy over the need for additional booster doses as they found greater numbers of “superbugs” than expected, despite continued protection from serious cases of the virus. Natalie Dean, a professor of biostatistics at Emory University, said the spread of the delta variant made stopping transmission “much more difficult.” “The situation has changed in terms of how far we think vaccines can take us,” she said. “We are brought back to a more modest – but still crucial – goal: preventing severe disease, hospitalization and mortality.”


Biden’s team is trying to pre-empt the virus – and possibly science – by deciding on booster shots

President Biden has vowed to “follow the science” in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, but some Scientists say his decision to recommend booster doses of a coronavirus vaccine on a large scale is based on incomplete data and will pressure regulators so far to agree to the plan.

Vincent Racanello, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University, said the Biden administration’s decision to require booster doses for vaccinated adults was “absolutely meaningless.” “I think it’s premature because the science isn’t saying we need a booster right now. It could be a year or two, depending on the data.”

The White House announced Wednesday that every American adult should plan to get a booster dose, arguing that a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine would boost protection against the delta variant as well as new variants that might emerge. While Biden acknowledged that the plan was “pending approval” from the Food and Drug Administration and experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the president often portrayed it as a done deal, saying tens of millions of booster shots would become available the week of September 20.


Why you might want to get a shot of mRNA BOOSTER, in one simple drawing

Boost shots may be coming to the US soon, for better or worse.


Of course, the biggest caveat is that scientists are not completely Convinced that booster doses should be used. Experts warn that data indicating that booster shots will soon be necessary is preliminary, incomplete, or otherwise inconclusive, Nature News mentioned advance this month.

Given these frequencies, it probably makes sense to offer the first round of vaccines to more people than before Americans triple. A large part of the world’s population and even the population of the United States are still not immune. In many countries, especially poor countries, this is due to unavailability of the shots – a stark difference from the hesitation problems with vaccination and vaccination in the United States.

But that didn’t stop Israel from providing booster doses – which it was criticized as selfish by the World Health Organization given how many people around the world still need their first doses. It is interesting, to say the least, to see the United States follow suit.

Terry Carter /Editorial Board:

Rural Kentucky school board member: ‘I’ve never experienced so much hate before’

School boards are filled with purges as the delta variable spreads.

Four days into the school year, the county health department announced it was already overwhelmed, in short. “We can’t even access all of our positive cases, let alone those in contact with them,” says the public health nurse. “It’s so overwhelming because it’s so widespread.”

This is what is happening now across the country. What does this mean for our children? for each of us?

I called Ms. Morgan to ask her what she thought of the school year going so far.

“When you hear that the mask material is made of the same material as the underwear, it makes me want to combat misinformation even more,” she said. “People are far away in the rabbit hole. There are parents who are still fighting [the governor’s] Mask states.” She adds that there are already nearly a hundred students under quarantine, which is more than half than it was two days ago, and that 30 students and five staff have tested positive for the virus.

We were in school only a week.


Max Boot /WaPo:

Trump & Co. designed the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Now they criticize him.

Trump’s partner in hypocrisy, as in misjudgment, is former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He was not satisfied with supervising the negotiations with Pompeo with the Taliban convince Pakistan To release Abdul Ghani Baradar, the new Afghan president, to be an interlocutor. Pompeo met baradar He boasted about it last year on his Twitter account, legitimizing the Taliban and thwarting the Afghan army.

Recently, in July, Pompeo was keen to “applaudedwithdrawal, saying that he wanted “the Afghans to go to war for themselves.” By contrast, it was Sunday explode Weak U.S. leadership always damages U.S. security. He went on to ludicrously accuse the Biden administration of “focusing on critical race theory while the embassy is in danger.”

Catch Non-alcoholic beer, says former Vice President Mike Pence. Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, offered a master’s degree in shifting blame and overriding responsibility. “The Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan is a humiliation of foreign policy, unlike anything our country has experienced since the Iran hostage crisis.”

Housekeeping note: We get the strength of Tropical Storm (Henry) on Sunday here in Connecticut. I have my alternator ready so hopefully there will be no issues with the APR on Monday.

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